Marple let Macc

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - MARK BROOK

IN a game where both sides spilled chances, Marple ended up with the lion’s share of the spoils, but were not en­tirely happy at the end of the con­test.

Vis­it­ing cap­tain Rob Porter in­serted Marple at a gloomy Bowden Lane last Satur­day af­ter win­ning the toss.

With Marple’s line up be­ing the most con­sis­tent in the league this sea­son, such a move must be weighed up with the con­sid­er­a­tion that be­ing bat­ted out of the game is a likely pos­si­bil­ity.

Porter’s dual left arm seam at­tack of Craig Mel­rose and Chris Moores did not let him down though. Af­ter Crisall and Makin had added 24 not en­tirely com­fort­able runs, a mini col­lapse fol­lowed.

Mel­rose picked up the top three in the or­der, with Crisall (6) and an out of touch An­drew Hall (1) both well caught by Ben Mars­den and Jim Mel­rose re­spec­tively.

Makin (21) had looked the most se­cure of the top or­der, but was also caught by Ben Mars­den driv­ing too soon at a fullish de­liv­ery.

At 32 for 3 Marple were once more in a cri­sis.

How­ever, Paul Wood has the game and at­ti­tude to adapt to any sit­u­a­tion this sea­son. He dropped an­chor.

His pres­ence en­abled Mark Ben­nett to play with free­dom once he had him­self set­tled at the crease.

Ben­nett, like his skip­per, is in a rich vein of form in 2017.

Rather sur­pris­ingly Porter opted to bowl his open­ing bowlers through for their full al­lot­ment of fif­teen overs each. Well as they bowled, both Marple bats­men were able to es­tab­lish them­selves with­out hav­ing to worry about any va­ri­ety, and were also con­tent to al­ter­nate the strike, the bowlers be­ing the ones hav­ing to ad­just to the left and right hand bat­ting com­bi­na­tion.

Mark Ben­nett made the ab­so­lute most of his op­por­tu­nity to bat for a good pe­riod of time as the sun came out to light up the af­ter­noon.

With the im­mov­able Wood he added 122 runs for the fourth wicket, this be­ing Marple’s fourth cen­tury stand in the past three games.

Both play­ers com­bined su­perb tim­ing with some power hit­ting, es­pe­cially when Porter was forced into chang­ing his at­tack. Porter him­self suf­fered some pun­ish­ment, but did de­ceive Wood, (52) in the air to have him very well caught by Tu­dor at long on at 154 for 4.

Ben­nett con­tin­ued on his merry way for a while, and he was given ex­cel­lent sup­port from Max Fitzger­ald in a brisk stand of 32, be­fore he fell to third change bowler Key for a ter­rific 81.

Fitzger­ald made a promis­ing 16, with Andy Wild (18) three glo­ri­ous bound­aries, and Ed Sax­elby (10 not out) mak­ing use­ful con­tri­bu­tions in Marple’s fi­nal tally of 223 for 7.

For Mac­cles­field, Craig Mel­rose had 3 for 48, but the change bowlers suf­fered some heavy treat­ment.

Porter’s day did not get any bet­ter with the bat as he mis­cued a full toss from Ed Sax­elby to Makin at point with only five on the board.

Ben Mars­den, in com­pany with Tom Tu­dor, re­paired the early loss of the skip­per though, the left handed Mars­den be­ing the dom­i­nant player with a flu­ent 36 in a good sec­ond wicket stand of 47.

It took a beauty from the old mae­stro, Andy Greasley to re­move him, as Makin pouched another catch at gully from a per­fectly pitched off spin­ner. Ol­lie Mars­den and McCance did not last long, and at 83 for 4 Marple were well in the driv­ing seat.

Hodg­son though pro­vided a solid if un­spec­tac­u­lar part­ner to Tu­dor, who looked se­cure, but was not re­ally able to dom­i­nate pro­ceed­ings, and the vis­i­tors fell well be­ing the ask­ing rate.

Part time left arm spin­ner Mark Makin bowled a use­ful six over spell, and even­tu­ally had Hodg­son stumped by keeper Wild for 22.

How­ever, the Mac­cles­field num­ber six had been dropped three times, and Marple were to rue these misses as the overs be­gan to run out.

Tu­dor made a late at­tempt to chase the distant to­tal, but Greasley de­ceived him in the air and the Mel­bourne man was lbw.

His 66 had been a good knock, but it oc­cu­pied him al­most two and a half hours.

Mo­ra­han was rein­tro- duced to try and re­move the lower or­der, but the doughty Grif­fiths (22 not out) was dropped at slip, and af­ter this Marple seemed to sense that they would be thwarted once more by a stub­born tail end.

Mac­cles­field hung on at 186 for 7 as the gloom and driz­zle re­turned. Greasley had 3 for 42, and Makin 2 for 21.

Tom Tu­dor put to­gether a knock of 66 against Marple

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